Reviewing mobile broadband

Connecting to the Internet on the go hasn’t always been a priority for me, but with my Windows Mobile phone I’ve always had a convenient connection to retrieve the odd bit of information to settle a friendly argument or to perform some routine maintenance on one of my sites.

However the Windows Mobile isn’t ideal. Sure it has a standard keyboard on it, if it is a little slow, and it has a decent screen with a good browser, but there’s nothing that can beat a laptop and a full sized screen. So far the problem to that has been weighing the cost of portability against the ease, cost and speed of connection.

Not any more though, connecting to the internet on your laptop is suddenly much easier, cheaper and above all much, much faster. So when I was given a 3G Mobile Broadband USB modem to try out, I leapt at the chance.

It’s fair to say I do a lot of writing. Mostly on my Filmstalker site, but also for some others on different topics. It’s not just the writing either, because I run Filmstalker I have to look after the administration, the advertising, and the ongoing development, and all that takes a chunk of time. That’s time in front of my computer at home, and when I’m not in front of that computer I can’t do anything.

Sometimes, but only when there’s an emergency, I do connect on the Windows Mobile and fix a few things on the site, clear spam comments, respond to an urgent email, etc. However it’s slow, we’re talking GPRS slow, and if you haven’t used that then you’ll be lucky not to know how damned painful it is.

Of course I do a lot of typing on my windows mobile phone, and the keyboard is okay, but two thumbs do not compare to a proper keyboard, and that small screen just doesn’t compare to a large laptop screen, seeing a web page in its entirety rather than scrolling and zooming is just much, much faster and more convenient.

So when I was offered a 3G Broadband dongle for a three month review I was keen to sign up, after all I was told I could be as honest as I wanted and give a completely free review of the product, just so long as I kept using it and writing about my experiences. No problem.

First of all let’s just see just what Mobile Broadband is all about, and then I’ll start talking about my experiences with using the service.

The current 3G Mobile Broadband deals are all half price until the 31st of May, and that means quite a saving on the three packages available. There are Broadband Lite, Broadband Plus and Broadband Max.

Each package offers a free Mobile Broadband modem and each carries with it an out of bundle charge for every additional MB used over the ones included in the package. That’s a mere 10p per MB.

For the Lite package you pay £10 per month and receive 1GB of data transfer, with the Plus you pay £15 and receive 3GB, and finally for the Max service you received 7GB per month of data transfer for £25 per month.

So when you think about it, those prices aren’t too bad for mobile access, and considering the surprisingly fast speeds (more to come on that later) they are pretty good.

However, I do find I’m a little confused. It seems that if you’re signing up as a new customer for the packages, you’ll have to pay full price, however if you follow 3mobilebuzz’s advice you could get a free phone, free minutes, texts and the Broadband mobile access all for £32.50, and that’s not bad.

With the costs out of the way and not looking that bad at all, let’s start talking about how the service holds up under use, and one of the most important initial steps, how it installs.

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